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CYPRUS WITHDRAWS CHARGES AGAINST BISHOP

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2001.01.31 Reuters: CYPRUS WITHDRAWS FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST BISHOP NICOSIA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Cypriot authorities abruptly withdrew charges of fraud against a
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2001
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      2001.01.31 Reuters: CYPRUS WITHDRAWS FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST BISHOP

      NICOSIA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Cypriot authorities abruptly withdrew charges
      of fraud against a former bishop on Wednesday suspected of defrauding
      foreigners in a get-rich-quick scheme.

      Prosecutors filed for a suspension of charges against Chrysanthos, the
      former Bishop of Limassol, at the start of the court hearing in the capital
      Nicosia.

      Chrysanthos, identified by only one name in accordance with Greek Orthodox
      Church custom, had denied charges of attempting to defraud British
      businessman Gerald Chambers of $3.7 million.

      Legal sources said Chambers, now in New Zealand and the principal state
      witness, had refused to testify against the bishop in court.

      "We are leaving this courtroom not feeling that there was a pardon, but
      because we expected this," Chrysanthos's lawyer Efstathios Efstathiou told
      reporters.

      The affair cast a harsh spotlight on the financial dealings of the island's
      all-powerful Greek Orthodox Church and prompted Chrysanthos's resignation
      under pressure from his peers in November 1999.

      (C) Reuters Limited 2001.
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